FG candidate in the upcoming bye election, Cllr Emer Higgins, has welcomed the recent announcement of Government funding which will support women and families around the country and in Dublin.

Cllr Higgins said: “I am delighted to see that Government funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund will be used to support women and families. The Dormant Accounts Fund enables unclaimed funds from accounts in credit institutions to support the development of people who are economically or educationally disadvantaged, or those affected by a disability, under the Equal Status Act.

“I have received confirmation from Government today that €300,000 from the Dormant Accounts Fund will be invested in awareness raising of domestic and sexual violence.

“Raising awareness of the scourge of domestic violence is an important step along the road to reducing incidence of it.

“The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has already launched the ‘No Excuses’ campaign, a three-year national awareness raising campaign on sexual harassment and sexual violence in May. The campaign aims to increase awareness of sexual violence and bring about changes in societal attitudes with the aim of decreasing and preventing these offences.  The funding announced today is really welcome and will build on this work.

“Often it seems that domestic violence is something that happens to other people. Unfortunately, this is not always the case; it could be any of us, our friends or family. That is why awareness raising, education, supports for victims and strong penalties for offenders are so necessary if we are to stop this epidemic.
“The impact of domestic violence on victims and their families is devastating and lasts a lifetime. Fine Gael is determined to work hard to prevent this domestic and sexual violence through education, awareness and supports for victims to feel able to speak out.

“Only recently, the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, spoke of ‘an epidemic of gender-based violence in Ireland and across the world, and it needs to stop.’

“As well as the work in awareness raising, Fine Gael is strengthening our laws and our supports for victims in this area.

“Fine Gael ratified the Istanbul Convention in March and has modernised our laws around sexual offences. The new legislation introduced a definition of consent and coercive control and extends the use of barring orders. Next, Fine Gael will introduce a law that will make stalking a distinct offence.”
Cllr Higgins continued: “The Dormant Accounts Fund also supports families and communities with €1,000,000 being announced for Family Resource Centres and wider voluntary partners around the country. I know from the great work done by the Quarryvale Family Resource Centre in my own area, the very positive impact of their work on families and disadvantaged communities here in Dublin Mid-West.

“The Dormant Accounts Fund will also support many great initiatives in Dublin through funding for social enterprise, youth employment initiatives, sports funding, disability awareness projects and social inclusion initiatives.”